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Found 8 results

  1. Please, welcome new VET2VET podcast episode: https://youtu.be/waV5t0HPtbM Today we are joined by Thomas Wendel, DAV National area supervisor for West Cost Region. Thomas E. Wendel served in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1983 until 1997. Since 1999, Tom has worked assisting veterans in processing various entitlement claims on the local, state and federal levels; first in Clare County as a county service officer and then when he came to work for the Disabled American Veterans in 2000. In 2008 he was promoted to the position of supervisor of the DAV Service Office in Detroit and later he was promoted to the position of supervisor of the DAV National area for West Cost Region. DAV is America’s largest, most effective veterans service organizations dedicated to the needs of those injured, ill or wounded in service. We have more than 1,300 Chapters in communities nationwide to help make sure veterans from all generations and their families get the benefits and support they deserve. Today, nearly 1.3 million veterans belong to DAV, and we encourage you to add your voice to the cause. Our programs and free services help all veterans get the health, disability and financial benefits they earned. Take advantage of our benefits claims assistance, medical transportation and employment resources. Your local DAV Chapter is a great way to connect with fellow veterans in your area. ★ JOIN US IN OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU AND OUR FELLOW VETERANS ★ ▶ facebook.com/VETOVET2 ▶ itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vet2vet/id1077206523?mt=2 ▶ twitter.com/VETOVET2 ▶ youtube.com/c/VETOVET2 ▶ plus.google.com/u/0/+VETOVET2 ▶ goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Iiqawbuzg7eviiyqm6xz7kju62m?t%3DVET2VET ▶ feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:198832065/sounds.rss ▶ soundcloud.com/vet2vet ▶ stitcher.com/s?fid=80842&refid=stpr ★ LIMITED LIABILITY CLAUSE ★ THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE THROUGH THE VET2VET MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. VET2VET MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES OF THE CONTENT AT ANY TIME. ADVICE RECEIVED VIA VET2VET SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR PERSONAL, MEDICAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL DECISIONS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE TAILORED TO YOUR SITUATION. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF VET2VET, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE CONSULTING VET2VET.
  2. Hello all. I am new to the disability comp process, and I'll be the first to admit--it sort of freaks me out. There is a lot of complexity to it, and I consider myself fairly learned and understanding of science and causation. Years ago I interned at the local VA hospital, and my dad retired from 20+ years in the VA civil service. Its a bit different walking in the door as a patient. Okay, I had a book practically written below, but I'll keep it short: Really didn't expect basic training to be as hard as it was--the constant screaming, lack of sleep, etc. It WAS NOT like 'Scout Camp' like my recruiter and retired USAF neighbor said. I never had more than 1-2 anxiety attacks before this. It was a struggle. Took a psych eval maybe 2-3 days into basic training. I was referred to Behavioral Health for a followup. They were concerned about stupid things like "I weight myself often". Um yep, I was a bit chunky. Whatever. Released to duty no problem. Tore the heck out of my feet in basic training, had PT waivers, missing big toenails and a lot of pain for months, bled through my shoes, horrible. Post-basic training, tore hamstrings in PT session--put on about a monthlong PT waiver Developed severe bronchitis. USAF docs treated me like I was faking it. It wasn't 'a cold'. I got really bad. Nearly hospitalized. Took 3 weeks+ to recover Had an uneventful year in the Air Guard, then ran into some older guys who basically hazed me. I was about 3 paygrades lower, and 20 years younger. It was awful Broke up with a girlfriend after getting ready to move across country--my unit 'was concerned I was depressed' Had a field exercise that didn't go well. They asked for feedback in an email. Was a little 'too honest'. Nothing I said was wrong, but I clearly did not like where I was, who I was with, and did not trust them. Probably shouldn't put that in an email. To this day I stand by what I said. Some good guys, some idiots. Was sent for a psych eval for 'erratic behavior'. Initially cleared. Nope--sent for another one. I said screw that, these people are jerks, and I transferred into the Navy Reserve. Had 2 good years there. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Graduated college, moved across country. Wasn't enthusisatic about the hassle of drill weekends. Wasn't making anything as an E-4. Prospective employers were always wary 'so you can get called up', and 'oh, so when do you get out.' I realized I needed to cut ties. I was out of college. Did what I came to do. See ya. 9/11 happened and I was nearly recalled to Active Duty. But I lucked out, stayed in my civil service job, and was transferred to the IRR per my request. I kept up pooints for good years in the IRR, but had no real intention of going back. Had a change of heart, and economics were getting tight. Re-enlisted and went back to the drilling reserve. Found a loophole in my previous contract, and intentionally took a demotion to change career fields. Muhahaha. Then advanced first cycle each time. A year later, was an E-5. Took all the extra orders I could. Did pretty well. Spent a year on and off active duty orders in the reserve. Job market sucked and I liked traveling to new places. New York City was a highlight. Went twice. But wife got into nursing school. We'd have to move. You go where you have to. And she was busy as hell. Loans were piling up. I figured--take a deployment. In the meantime, I volunteered to go to New Orleans to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. And en route, got hammered by Hurricane Rita there (anybody remember that?). Started having sinus issues from the mold that was now everywhere (not in my service record) Started feeling extremely depressed, slept every free moment I could (the post-deployment questionnaire shows that somewhere) A few months later, got the magic phone call. Deploy now if I wanted, but not with my unit. Or not. But I knew I would probably get yanked to go to Iraq with the Seabees (now I was one), Korea with the Coastal Warfare unit I was now in, or maybe not get yanked for a year. But eventually I would. Economics rule. I opted for NOW. But the catch was--it was with the ARMY. And it was a year-long. And it was Afghanistan. The deployment sucked--why would you expect different? I enjoyed a lot of it. But the issues I felt during Katrina got intense. The isolation from the real world sucked. I was fighting the 'just war'. But we didn't do much anything most of the time. We were ON the front lines. Basically not doing anything all day. I was trained for all this combat stuff, and was stuck all day on the tiny FOB. And if you don't engage the enemy, they come to you. First night of tower guard, gunfire. Turns out if was a runaway 50cal on a Humvee. Tracers into the sky. An accident. And accidents, more than anything else, were to mar the deployment over and over. In short: Stationed with ABSOLUTELY IDIOT medical types who didn't document anything. Totally worthless people. And now it matters more than ever. Broke a toe on my right foot (have the x-ray for that) Howitzers are loud. Mortars 40 feet from your tent are louder (tinnitus really sucks--but need formal diagnosis) Body armor and Humvees don't mix well off-road (2-3 weeks in physical therapy) Anxiety sucks. Got demoted with a feud with my CO, and he ended up relieved of command a couple of weeks later. But anxiety was worsening, and now I was having up to 15 attacks PER DAY. Son of a bitch tried to ruin me. Had a former co-worker I knew in my civilian days, take a mortar shell to the helmet. He woke up in Germany. 9 people didn't Had to go to a funeral for 2 fallen airman. They died in a suicide bombing--getting MAIL in Kabul--and if they waited 1 day, it came by helo. Some COs don't understand that's an idiot risk. Made a quick enemy with my CO over the issue. And then it spiraled. He demoted me, but then was relieved of command. LONG LONG story. Smashed in the face with a Humvee door (not in service record) Finally got tired of anxiety attacks, saw an Army psychiatrist. Guy basically said 'too bad, deal with it, and sent me back to the front lines'. Anxiety attacks now were almost continuous. Was deprived of sleep constantly because a few CO-loyalists though it fitting to assign me extra duty whenever possible. No joke--sleeping maybe 2 hours a night for days/weeks on end. Was sleeping instead of eating lunch. Slept every free moment I had. Base was attacked a few times. That sucked. But I was more upset about missing lunch--serious. Started to notice I was detached from my surroundings. Sort of felt invincible in terms of the war around me, but extremely vulnerable too. Was more suspicious of people. Feared my own people more than the Taliban--absolutely dead serious. Was stuck for months hosting the Local National Detail--basically locals who could work on the base doing menial tasks. They got paid for janitorial stuff mostly. And I had to drive and escort them to the BURN PIT. Sometimes 5 times a day. It was awful. And some Army guys threw ammunition into the trashcan. Nothing like rounds going off when you drive down there. Seriously. A car battery sounds like a car bomb. Crazy. Could have been killed by a mortar that blew up just feet out of the tube. Had it not been an illuminating round... Had many suicidal thoughts during the deployment. Instead, just volunteered for crazy stuff. Figured result would be the same. If we had any medical issues at all, the Navy tried to hold us hostage at Norfolk. I had to sign out AMA (Against Medical Advice) so I could finally go home after being gone 13 months. Post deployment: Had extremely strong irritable bowel symptoms 1-2 months later. This had plagued me at Fort Bragg and intermittently throughout the deployment. Had a barium exam. Horrible. Results: inconclusive. Something has plagued me since, and it has been 10 years. Very strong anxiety, PTSD, and particularly depression. Formally diagnosed at the VA hospital. Finally had something. Meds: Prozac. Moved across country for Graduate School: may have experienced a manic episode. Adjusted meds. Felt better. Diagnosed with SEVERE chronic obstructive sleep apnea by the VA. Been on a CPAP now for 7 years. Struggled with a lot of change. Medications had side effects, things were rough. Been on a mental health see-saw for years. Changed meds to Cymbalta. Bad idea--if I took it an hour later than usual, I started to feel withdrawal Changed meds to Wellbutrin to address worsening anxiety. It did not work. Had almost immediate depression severity. Had to discontinue after 3 weeks--was literally suicidal. Scary as hell. Change to Pristiq. Seemed better than other choices. Took that for 2 years. Moved again, new doc prescribed Lamotrigine as a mood stabilizer. Took for 1 year Recently, sleep really got bad. Prescribed Ambien Anxiety attacks nearly daily. Prescribed Adivan. Eventually doubled the dose just to sleep. Having recurrent dreams of being isolated, stuck in the Navy, in trouble, etc. Finally fed up with the doc, transferred to the VA. Initially thought the pyschiatrist was a bit weird. But she said a few things that amazed me. And unlike the previous psych doc, she listened to my concerns. Changed sleep meds to Tramadol. Changed meds to Clonipin for PTSD, anxiety. Still taking Pristiq and Lamotrigine. Feeling somewhat better but not where I want to be, but closer than before Oh yes, and my feet are killing me now. I wonder if my foot geometry shifted after the broken foot and basic training injuries Overall, its been a real struggle. Survivors guilt, being abused by some peers and superiors, some issues from PTSD, and a propensity to want to talk about things, but nobody wants to hear your story. No one. Everyone wants to believe the Afghan campaign was the 'right war'. And they don't want to know we tried but basically failed. There were no war heros in my FOB. One purple heart. A LOT of close calls. And tons of accidents. Tons. It took me almost 10 years to finally march myself into the VA and say 'finally, let's do this'. I have pain, nightmares, anxiety attacks, and I've not tackled them. I go to the VA and feel out of place--30 years younger than everyone else there. And 'I'm not as bad as that guy' feeling. And especially thinking someday about re-enlisting, and not wanting a foot of paper to need a waiver for everything. But then I realized, its very unlikely I would re-enlist. And I was getting older. I had the time. Let's roll. I am wary of the VA, just as I was wary of the medical departments all along. There is so much missing in my service records. Our unit corpsman didn't write anything down. It will be a struggle to argue service connectivity for many things, being that its been 9 years since I came 'home'. It sucks. I remember times/dates/places vividly. That may not matter. But its a fight many of you know all too well. I have questions. Many. And truly, thank you for your service. We weren't all patriots. Some needed money for college, others to feed their families. And many drafted without a choice. Most old, and a few young ones. But we are all veterans.
  3. Please, welcome new VET2VET podcast episode: https://youtu.be/9paX1-FyCaI Today we’re talking about SERVICE CONNECTION. When we talk about service-connecting a medical condition, disease, injury or illness to military service, we are talking about proving the relationship between the two. 1) Direct Service Connection 2) Service Connection by Aggravation 3) Presumptive Service Connection 4) Secondary Service Connection 5) Service Connection due to Injury Caused by Treatment in the VA Healthcare System 6) Special Service Connection Rules for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder ★ JOIN US IN OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU AND OUR FELLOW VETERANS ★ ▶ facebook.com/VETOVET2 ▶ itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vet2vet/id1077206523?mt=2 ▶ twitter.com/VETOVET2 ▶ youtube.com/c/VETOVET2 ▶ plus.google.com/u/0/+VETOVET2 ▶ goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Iiqawbuzg7eviiyqm6xz7kju62m?t%3DVET2VET ▶ feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:198832065/sounds.rss ▶ soundcloud.com/vet2vet ▶ stitcher.com/s?fid=80842&refid=stpr ★ LIMITED LIABILITY CLAUSE ★ THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE THROUGH THE VET2VET MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. VET2VET MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES OF THE CONTENT AT ANY TIME. ADVICE RECEIVED VIA VET2VET SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR PERSONAL, MEDICAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL DECISIONS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE TAILORED TO YOUR SITUATION. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF VET2VET, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE CONSULTING VET2VET.
  4. Please, welcome new VET2VET podcast episode: https://youtu.be/sTH3p-WwXn0 The way VA defines The word "permanent" slightly differently. For that matter, the word total doesn't mean total when discussing a disability. These are just terms to VA. There really isn't a protected rating. Any rating can be modified by VA at any time, depending on the circumstances. How do you know if your benefit is P & T? What is IU? What is substantially gainful employment? Are there any other eligibility requirements? How is the way VA decides total disability different from other agencies? TDIU awards may be permanent or they may be temporary. If I get a 100% rating, should I continue fighting the VA for benefits? SMC compensation Can you think of any other scenarios were a Veteran might want to keep filing to VA after they reach a 100% rating? ★ JOIN US IN OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU AND OUR FELLOW VETERANS ★ ▶ facebook.com/veterantoveteran/ ▶ itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vet2vet/id1077206523?mt=2 ▶ twitter.com/veterantovetera/lists/vet2vet ▶ youtube.com/channel/UCebXFpogeJ9r4EqRyxHriYQ ▶ plus.google.com/u/0/+VETOVET2 ▶ goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Iiqawbuzg7eviiyqm6xz7kju62m?t%3DVET2VET ▶ feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:198832065/sounds.rss ▶ soundcloud.com/vet2vet ▶ stitcher.com/s?fid=80842&refid=stpr ★ LIMITED LIABILITY CLAUSE ★ THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE THROUGH THE VET2VET MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. VET2VET MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES OF THE CONTENT AT ANY TIME. ADVICE RECEIVED VIA VET2VET SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR PERSONAL, MEDICAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL DECISIONS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE TAILORED TO YOUR SITUATION. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF VET2VET, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE CONSULTING VET2VET.
  5. Had X rays done, they show hyperinflation with flattening of the diaphragms, heart is normal, pulmonary vessels unremarkable, clear lungs, interstitial markings are slightly prominent, no gross pleural reaction seen, early changes are detected in the lower dorsal segment. PCP, says lungs are only slightly hyper inflated, possible obstructive pulmonary condition. Pulmonary function test comes back that my lungs are fine. Iraq, carpenter/mason, balad, Abbu ghraib, biop Afghanistan, route clerance, Khost and surrounding. Has any one else delt with this, what would you recamend from here? Thanks
  6. Hey everybody, my name is James. I am an Afghanistan Combat Veteran who served February-September of 2011 in Kandahar Province, Southern Afghanistan. Mainly in the districts of Panj'waii, Arghandab, and Maiwand, with the U.S. Army, 52nd Ordnance, 20th Support Command. I would love to meet some other OEF vets and of course any fellow Warrior of any conflict, or any Veteran at all for that matter :)
  7. Any one have shortness of breath with general labor, nothing real heavy? I had an X-ray done as well as a pulmonary function test. The X-rays report is, Lungs are hyper inflated with flattening of the diaphragms. Heart size is normal. Pulmonary vessels are unremarkable. Lungs are clear, Interstitial markings are slightly prominent. No gross pleural reaction is seen. Early changes are detected in the lower dorsal segment. My PCP, states mild hyperinflation, possible OPD issues, waiting on PFT results. PFT results are that im good according to there test, waiting on them to send records to me. 35 years old, used to smoke, quit 5 years ago, except for one here and there. Did vertical construction in Abu Ghraid, BIOP, Anaconda Iraq and Route Clearance is Eastern Afghanistan. Thanks
  8. Hey Everybody, My name is James. I served one combat tour in Kandahar, Afghanistan with 52nd Ordnance, 20th Support Command, EOD, U.S. Army. PTSD/TBI 80%. Thanks to all my many brothers in arms for your Honorable and Valorous service. God bless you all, and GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.
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